Liquor and Spirits

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2014

    Stop Over-Distilling Tequila, Or Why Ambhar Is The Worst Tequila To Enter The Market Since Cuervo Gold

    Because I get so many pitches from public relations people whose approach to their career is to employ the steamroller approach to e-mail communication ("Dear Food Writer and/or Blogger"), it's hard to remember which clueless human megaphone sent me the e-mail about Ambhar tequila. I do know that, a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2014

    Boulevardier at Bambú Lounge at the Fairmont Newport Beach, Our Drink of (Last) Week!

    I still maintain that Bambú Lounge at the Fairmont Newport Beach is the most underrated hotel bar in the county, a place where the food is good and affordable considering the surroundings, and the cocktails spectacular. The bar is smart--they even know how to make a great Man o' War, a Kentucky coc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2013

    The Main Course at Napa Rose, Our Drink of the Week!

    I've always thought of Napa Rose at Disneyland's Grand Californian Hotel as a once-a-year type of spot, a place where I take the chica and her friends and pretend to be Don Bren sans the evil and money. What I usually forget is that their cocktails are not just consistently spectacular, but also sur ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2013

    The Better Sazerac at Memphis at the Santora, Our Drink of the Week!

    I have always had an affinity for the French. It runs in my family: There's French blood on my mom's side, I spoke with my grandfather better in French than Vietnamese, and my dad sang me French songs when I was a child, so it shouldn't be a surprise that when 14-year-old Charles Lam had to choose ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2013

    The Best Drinks in Orange County

    The humble "drink" doesn't get the respect it should. Centuries ago, tea and coffee houses were the centers of philosophical and political discussion. The Age of Enlightenment conveniently corresponded to the rise coffee shops in Europe, and revolutions were planned around steaming glasses and kettl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2013

    Ararat Armenian Brandy, Our Drink of the Week!

    Armenians have been making wine for so long that there's serious scholarly debate whether they were the first winemakers in the world. Let's put it this way: they were pressing and fermenting grapes while my northern European ancestors were still figuring out that pointy things kill animals and long ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2013

    Rose Canyon Margarita at Rose Canyon Cantina, Our Drink of the Week!

    The Rose Canyon Cantina, tucked away behind the last gasps of all-look-same inland South County in its own oak-lined dell, is the least likely place in the county to find a real, honest-to-God, Jalisco-style margarita. Most of the patrons are drinking tequila-tinged swill with bottled margarita mix ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 17, 2013

    William Grant & Sons and Young's Market Company Celebrate 125 Years With Rare Glenfiddich

    In 1887, William Grant founded an independent, family-owned distiller in the United Kingdom. However, it wasn't until 1963 that United States markets were able to purchase their Single Malt Scotch whisky. After 125 years in the industry, William Grant & Sons wished to commemorate the milestone with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2013

    Tequila Fortaleza, Our Drink of the Week!

    Nearly all of the distilled liquor in the world comes from three sources: sugarcane (rum, cachaça, caña), grain (wheat, rice, corn, rye) and potatoes (some vodka). They're not tied to a sense of place: there is rum from Mauritius and rum from Jamaica, there's whiskey from Scotland and whiskey from ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2013

    The World's Best Guide to Buying Tequila That Doesn't Suck

    I'm a liquor store yenta. That's right; if I see you picking up one of those neon green bottles of margarita mix, or God forbid the bilious-looking piss-yellow bottle with the Cuervo garbage already mixed in, I will come over and strike up and awkward conversation in which I try to convince you to b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2012

    Leyva's Liquors: Always, Always Your Last Stop Before Heading for the Border

    Three weeks ago, Bill gave what may be the world's first quasi-comprehensive guide to the vendors swirling around the mass fustercluck known as the northbound border crossing at San Ysidro; it's only quasi-comprehensive because the vendors change occasionally.Today, Tijuana Sí! covers what should a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 9, 2012

    Collier and McKeel Tennessee Whiskey, Our Drink of the Week!

    Kids: let me tell you about the most magical food festival of them all--not some overplayed clustertruck, but the Southern Foodways Alliance's annual symposium in Oxford, Mississippi. The SFA, of course, is an awesome organization devoted to celebrating and documenting Southern food, and their sympo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2012

    Diatribe With Dave: The Rise of Ryes

    Every second and fourth Wednesday night of the month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau hosts Dinner with Dave at Memphis at the Santora, where he treats drinkers to a free meal and live music as the evening progresses. To remind ustedes of this great night, Dave treats us ev ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2012

    Mellow Corn Corn Whiskey, Our Drink of the Week!

    For the past month, I've been swimming in the bourbon, moonshine, and corn whiskey that I brought back from Kentucky and Tennessee after participating in August's World's Longest Yard Sale event along Highway 127. Every year that I go, I seek out the rarest brands, to see how good our local booze em ... More >>

  • News

    May 24, 2012

    Barely Legal Summer!

    [Summer Guide 2012] Our guide to living this sultry season on the right (and wrong) side of the law

  • News

    May 24, 2012

    How to Make Real Absinthe

    [Summer Guide 2012] Make, then drink the real stuff!

  • Food

    March 8, 2012

    The Orange County Bartenders Cabinet Shake It Up

    The group of county libation crafters is teaching you to drink as you've never drunk before

  • Blogs

    March 2, 2012

    Trace Element at TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Our Drink of the Week!

    ​TAPS in Brea? Of course. One of the few places populated mostly by the hoi polloi--crammed with them, really--that actually impresses with their offerings, whether it's perfectly barbecued oysters, Cajun-style taquitos dating back to the late 1990s but whose charms remain eternal, award-winning b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    Napalm Death at Casanova, Our Drink of the Week!

    Photo by Meranda Carter​Scotland ... where the men wear kilts and the sheep are nervous. Home of the world's greatest Scotches, one of them being Drambuie that figures in over 100 drink recipes, including Kiltlifter, Ball Bag, Sexaholic, Felcher (after a sexual practice we are not ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2011

    Five Things You Didn't Know About Bourbon

    Flickr user spenceke​September is National Bourbon Month. As the weather cools off (OK, everywhere except Southern California), it's a good time to consider one of the finest drinks made in America. Uncork a bottle, pour a little into a snifter, add a little pour of cool spring water, and lean bac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2011

    Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Our Drink of the Week

    ​The Wild Turkey distillery tour in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky isn't the most popular on the Bluegrass State's Bourbon Trail--that would be the Maker's Mark one--or the most-thorough--that honor goes to Woodford Reserve--but in many ways, it's the best. It's absolutely down-home, starting with a docum ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2011

    Peligroso Tequila Silver 42, Our Drink of the Week!

    A typical morning at Weekly world headquarters...​If you glance at a bottle of Peligroso tequila and are a way-too-politically-conscious pendejo like me, you'll want to immediately protest. The name, drawing on centuries of gabacho stereotypes about the inherent danger of Mexicans and tequila. The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2011

    Drink of the Week: Ventura Limoncello

    Dave Lieberman​Ventura County produces more lemons than any other county in the United States. A drive inland along Highway 150 from Santa Barbara to Santa Paula goes past thousands of acres of lemon trees, but limoncello, the lemon liqueur that's on every bar shelf in Italy, was never produced lo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2011

    Drink of the Week: DonQ Cristal Rum

    Disregard Confederate Calvin, por favor...​Mexicans drink tequila, mezcal, sotol, pulque, beer, brandy, whiskey, more beer . . . you get the picture. But rum? Maybe in the Gulf of Mexico region, but the only sugarcane-based alcohol the wabs I know like are charanda (all those damn michoacanos) and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2011

    Homemade Grappa: Don't Tell the ABC

    Rows of homemade grappa in a bar in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.​Grappa. Just the word sends waves of warmth down the esophagus.Grappa is brandy distilled from pomace--the solids left over during the wine-making process; the stems and pips and skins and pressed pulp. The French call this leftover gun ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2011

    Yuzu Blossom at 320 Main, Our Drink of the Week

    Tobin Sharp​This week's adventure found me at the popular Seal Beach watering hole, 320 Main, a place where the mixologists take the creation of cocktails very seriously.

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2010

    Drink of the Week: San Clemente Cosmo

    Brandon Ferguson​Oftentimes when a bar creates a new alcoholic concoction, something goes horribly awry: either overzealous bartenders blend flavors that just don't work well together (think mint leaves and any number of boozes), or they overdo it with the sugary liquids and create a nasty franken ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2010

    Drunk After Work: Cucina Alessa

    Edwin GoeiThe Place: Cucina Alessa, 520 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 969-2148; The Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 3-6 p.m. & 9-10 p.m.; Fri., 3-6 p.m. & 9-11 p.m.; Sat., 9-11 p.m.; Sun., 9-10 p.m.The Deal: $4 antipasti. $6 pizza marghertia or beef carpaccio. $3 draft ( ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 29, 2010

    Where Good Apples Go When They Die: Baba au Calvados

    Flickr user jo-h​If you're a regular reader of Fork, you've probably noticed I haven't been around much lately. This is because I am stuffing myself silly doing research on regional French food and drink. While I love Paris, get out into the countryside and French food becomes more approachable, c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2010

    Five Pretty Cocktails

    Flickr user alpha du centaure​Oh, stop scoffing. We can see that face you're making: Ain't no shame in admiring a pretty drink every once in a while. While you'll usually find the cutesy cocktails with the cutesy garnish at things like bridal showers, outdoor wedding receptions, beach-side resorts ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2010

    Menagetini at K'ya Street Fare

    Jessica Ford ​The menu at K'ya Street Fare in Anaheim features dishes you'd find from street carts around the world, but the cocktails are far from something you would be able to find on the street. The restaurant is located inside Hotel Menage and the signature drink is the Menagetini--a co ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2010

    Is Hennessy Making Up Mexican History to Boost Cognac Sales?

    Not the bottle in question...​Got to the office late Wednesday, and greeting me was a bottle of Hennessy cognac. Curious, I saw a press release attached to the box that contained the bottle and immediately became bewildered--and not just because I started pouring that sweet nectar down my gulle ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2010

    LA Water Cocktail

    Jorge Negreros​When it comes to the battle of OC versus LA, at least we don't have a cocktail named after our murky drinking water. 

  • Blogs

    July 2, 2010

    Fourth of July Cocktails

    Cherry Bomb​Celebrating Independence Day comes down to three simple things: fireworks, barbecues and booze. And since I can only help you with the last one, continue on for two Fourth of July-inspired cocktail recipes.

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2010

    Scooby Snack at Garf's Sports Lounge

    Jorge Negreros​From the outside, Garf's Sports Lounge looks like just another hole-in-the-wall bar next to a gas station, but it's surprisingly large and full of people looking to grab some dinner and drinks after work. It's the place where locals come to watch the game, play some pool an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2010

    Brain Hemorrhage at The District

    Jessica Ford​If you are not ordering from a seasoned bartender, a Brain Hemorrhage is another one of those shooters whose name will earn you a funny look. It's not ordered often--for good reason, since it takes skills to make it correctly. It's all about presentation-- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2010

    Buttery Nipple at O'Malley's On Main

    Jessica Ford​First, get your mind out of the gutter--it is not that kind of buttery nipple. Second, almost every bartender knows (or should know) how to make this, but if they don't, be prepared to be met with a long, awkward stare and the question, "You want two . . . what?"

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2010

    Dessert of the Week: Bad Girl at Crepe Maker

    Jessica Ford Bad Girl Crepe: tastes better than this looks...​The Crepe Maker is about as French as you can get in the Irvine Spectrum--Orange Countians feasting upon French crepes served by a staff (noticeably not French), next to a picture of the Eiffel Tower while French music plays in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 25, 2009

    Drink of the Week: Chocolate Candy Cane at Montage

    Jessica Ford Chocolate Candy Cane​Montage in Laguna Beach is one of the swankiest hotels in the area, but you get your money's worth when it comes to drinks at the Lobby Lounge. After you valet park your BMW or Mercedes (whichever), pass through the initial entrance of the hotel and you ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 28, 2009
  • Blogs

    April 23, 2009

    Calling All Loquat Tree Owners!

    Ernest Miller is a cook at the Disneyland Resort who also blogs at Culinary Safaris and is enrolled alongside my chica in the Master Food Preserver that has me going to San Bernardino more times than any non-909er should ever have to. He has an interesting request for SAFII readers: anyone has loqua ... More >>

  • Food

    December 7, 2006

    Skunk As a Drunk

    How to stay hammered until 2007

  • Food

    February 16, 2006

    This Week in Great Scot Whisky

    Whisky Tasting on the Queen Mary

  • Food

    October 6, 2005
  • Features

    October 24, 2002
  • Features

    July 25, 2002
  • Features

    July 25, 2002
  • Features

    July 25, 2002
  • Unknown

    August 24, 2000
  • Features

    June 3, 1999
  • More >>